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Part II. Nathaniel Hawthorne

IX. The End Of The War

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"The French," replied an officer. "Then I die satisfied!" said Wolfe, and expired in the arms of victory.

"If ever a warrior's death were glorious, Wolfe's was so," said Grandfather; and his eye kindled, though he was a man of peaceful thoughts and gentle spirit. "His life-blood streamed to baptize the soil which he had added to the dominion of Britain. His dying breath was mingled with his army's shout of victory."

"Oh, it was a good death to die!" cried Charley, with glistening eyes. "Was it not a good death, Laurence?"

Laurence made no reply; for his heart burned within him, as the picture of Wolfe, dying on the blood-stained field of victory, arose to his imagination; and yet he had a deep inward consciousness that, after all, there was a truer glory than could thus be won.

"There were other battles in Canada after Wolfe's victory," resumed Grandfather; "but we may consider the old French War as having terminated with this great event. The treaty of peace, however, was not signed until 1763. The terms of the treaty were very disadvantageous to the French; for all Canada, and all Acadia, and the Island of Cape Breton,--in short, all the territories that France and England had been fighting about for nearly a hundred years,--were surrendered to the English."

"So now, at last," said Laurence, "New England had gained her wish. Canada was taken."

"And now there was nobody to fight with but the Indians," said Charley.

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Grandfather mentioned two other important events. The first was the great fire of Boston in 1760, when the glare from nearly three hundred buildings, all in flames at once, shone through the windows of the Province House, and threw a fierce lustre upon the gilded foliage and lion's head of our old chair. The second event was the proclamation, in the same year, of George III. as King of Great Britain. The blast of the trumpet sounded from the balcony of the Town House, and awoke the echoes far and wide, as if to challenge all mankind to dispute King George's title.

Seven times, as the successive monarchs of Britain ascended the throne, the trumpet peal of proclamation had been heard by those who sat in our venerable chair. But when the next king put on his father's crown, no trumpet peal proclaimed it to New England. Long before that day America had shaken off the royal government.

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Grandfather's Chair
Nathaniel Hawthorne

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